In this section you will find some theoretical input, videos and method sheets to develop the « skills to connect » for young people.

We propose four different resources:
1. Our theoretical texts present the conceptual and methodological background on which we built our practical educational tools. Here you will find a short introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy, social emotional learning and non-formal pedagogy.
2. The « workshop outline » shows you one possible flow of activities that we tried out.
3. You can check out our videos that illustrate the whole workshop (“learning path”) and two specific activities.
4. You can also use our materials to create your own workshops to develop relational skills. The method sheets give you the necessary information to carry out or adapt the activities we developed.

Social emotional learning

Social emotional learning (SEL) is a learning process through which we learn social and emotional skills that are fundamental for life. We may read about “soft skills” or “life skills” – these are similar concepts to SEL skills. It encompasses self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making.

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Using cognitive behaviour therapy to develop social emotional skills

The underlying concept behind Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is that our thoughts and interpretations play a fundamental role in our feelings and behaviours. CBT helps to identify negative and unrealistic thought patterns and uses a wide range of techniques to help participants to test them and adjust them, if necessary. CBT can be used individually and in groups. We have incorporated CBT in our trainings as way to structure the debriefing of each activity, to help participants identify how they felt during the activities, and to facilitate the reflection on their experiences overcoming cognitive distortions as much as possible.

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Theatre and social emotional skills

Theatrical tools are a useful means for individual and social transformation. Through theatrical exercises and staging, we can work with reality at many different levels: visualizing it from many perspectives, analysing it, experimenting with it, generating creative strategies, and rehearsing for real life. Simultaneously, while doing so, we develop personal, relational, and social insight, awareness and skills. Theatre allows us to think about and act upon ourselves – mind, body and emotion – and our connection with others and with the world.

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Integrating an intercultural approach

Cross-cultural differences abound in the way we communicate with each other, we create relationship, convey respect. For this reason, in a training focusing on relationship we cannot skip integrating an intercultural approach that deconstructs possible stereotypes and preconceptions and helps to welcome diversity.

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Here you find a learning path of 20 hours that is suitable to develop the social emotional skills (SEL) of young people or youth workers.  It is just one possible example on how you can create a coherent training process with our activities. Key activities are explained in a detailed way under the section of ‘method sheets’.

10’ Intro

Introduction of the trainers and the goals of the training

40’ Getting to know each-other, teambuilding

Whatever activity that helps people connect to each other and to the subject of relationships and intimacy

30’ Expectations and group rules

Establish a safe and predictable space for all, asking for participants’ expectations

40’ Intro theatre activity

Select a warm-up theatre activity that helps participants to get used to performing in front of others and that is suitable at the beginning of a workshop. We propose an activity: “We have something in common”)

20’ Break

20’ The wind arrives and moves people that….

One participant shares something (a thought, an experience, a life event, an attitude, a habit, something he or she wears, etc) that is true about them and sees how many of the other participants also share the same thing. The activity is carried out in a fun way – there is one chair less than the number of participants and all of those who shares the stated thing need to stand up and find and sit on another chair quickly.

30’ Exploration of personal identity

This activity enables participants to understand themselves as an individual, what makes them similar and different. The goal is to develop self-awareness. We propose an activity called “Exploration of Personal Identity”.


30’ Exploration of professional identity

This activity helps participants to develop awareness about their own and their colleagues’ professional values, beliefs, expectations, limitations. We propose an activity called “Exploration of Professional Identity”.


25’ Energiser activity

Propose some activity that helps people to get energise, move their bodies at the start of the session. You can choose anything that worked for you before.

25’ YES/NO activity

Participants form pairs and explore how they can communicate with each other by using only the words “YES” and “NO” and nothing else.

110’ Image theatre

This theatre activity that helps participants to distinguish between the description of a situation and the emotional reaction it provokes; to be aware of their own interpretation of a situation and to realise the possibility of many different interpretations of this same situation.


60’ Lunch break

15’ Mirror dance

It is a fun, energising, nonverbal activity that participants carry out in pairs. They dance to different tunes where they mirror each other’s moves, alternately.


40’ Exploring barriers to active listening

An activity that helps to raise self-awareness about one’s listening skills, that develops listening skills by demonstrating communication barriers and how it affects the storyteller. It also helps to connect participants by offering them a fun activity.

20’ Break

20’ Preparatory theatre activities

Use any warm-up theatre activity that helps participants to prepare to create more complex scenes. You can find many great exercises here: Boal, Augusto. Games for Actors and Non-Actors.
Trans. Adrian Jackson. New York: Routledge, 2002.

80’ Creating scenes around cognitive distortions

This activity raises awareness about common negative thought patterns (“cognitive distortions”), helps participants to identify the ones they tend to use most.

20’ Energiser activity

Offer some activity that helps people get energised, move their bodies at the start of the session.

50’ Forming impressions about a conflict

The exercise asks participants to form a first impression about a complex interpersonal conflict situation, then see if their impression changes when given more background information.
The goal is to show how impressions are formed and can be changed, and to encourage participants to practise perspective taking (what the actors might have felt/though). We suggest to select a story from our “Book of situations”.

20’ Sculpture of an irritating person

This warm-up theatre activity raises awareness about how body movements, postures, gestures can be used to express emotions, intentions and it also helps participants to regulate negative emotions by making fun of a situation.

20’ Own your mistakes

Reduce the fear of failure, make fun of mistakes. We propose a playful activity for this, where participants are put in a situation where it is easy to make mistakes, and when they do so, they need to deal with it in a fun way.

20’ Transform the image

Participants create a sculpture representing a difficult situation and then try to find possibilities to resolve tension on a non-verbal level by transforming the real image into an ideal one, step by step.

60’ Lunch break

15’ Energiser activity

Offer an energiser activity that helps to become alert after the lunch break.

20’ Transform the image (continued)

The “Transform the Image” activity (started before lunch) is continued.

10’ The word’s image

This exercise helps participants to express emotions and concepts with body postures, gestures.

60’ Analytical Image

This activity will guide us through a liberating journey of self-discovery, through which we will gain a deep understanding of ourselves in the face of conflict. We will learn how to navigate the complexity of our emotions and feelings to find alternatives to resolve conflicts in our relationships to others.
For this learning path, we propose a shortened version of the activity where we demonstrate the technique with only 1 (or at maximum 2) situation.

20’ Break

120’ Forum theatre

Forum Theatre gives participants the opportunity to try out and analyse different strategies to challenging situations that they could not cope well within the past.

15’ Closing of the workshop

Assessing how participants felt during the sessions and what they have learnt.

Here you find a selection of activities serving four different pedagogical objectives: creating  first contact and warming-up, developing verbal and non-verbal communication skills, reflecting on our relationships, understanding and working through conflicts

  1. active-listening
  2. active-listening2
  1. all-about-comm
  2. all-about-comm2
  1. yes-non
  2. yes-non2
  1. galaxy
  2. galaxy2
  1. timeline-of-realtionship
  2. timeline-of-realtionship2
  1. analytical-image
  2. analytical-image2-1
  1. what-bothers-me
  2. what-bothers-me2

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